Performance Tracking

Performance Tracking uses the data compiled for consecutive risk maps to assess how risk on the network as a whole, or on individual road sections, has changed over time. It is a way of measuring success and the outcome of investment in safer roads and can be used as an objective measure by Governments and funding agencies.

Road safety challenges posed by specific roads can depend not simply on the design and layout of the road itself, but also on the type and mix of road users, their behaviour and predominant crash types.

For example, a section of road where the majority of crashes involve cars running off the side of the road at a particular bend will require a different approach to one where problems are largely of speeding drivers making dangerous overtaking manoeuvres.

Over recent years national EuroRAP programmes have extended their analysis to include performance of roads for different road users, particularly motorcyclists, given the potential for harm to riders in the event of a crash. Evaluating the needs and impact of road design by road user type in this way can help to inform debate on the need for measures designed to protect riders on higher-risk routes, such as motorcycle-friendly crash barriers and cushioning around lampposts and lighting columns now increasingly being used across Europe.

The EuroRAP process of tracking the performance of road sections over time is carried out in three stages:

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Risk Mapping for consecutive data periods are compared to identify road sections that have shown a statistically significant reduction in the number of fatal and serious crashes over time, and those where there has been little or no change;
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Data for individual years is then checked to assess consistency of trends over time. An important part of this stage is in checking any significant changes to the road network between period such as new bypasses or a change to the road class;
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Finally, highway authorities are consulted in order to collate information on specific issues affecting road safety on individual sections, the engineering, enforcement and education measures that have been implmented during the data periods under investigation, and any actions planned for the future.

Typical result listings from national programmes who undertake Performance Tracking these include:

Most improved roads show routes where the number of fatal and serious crashes has significantly reduced between data periods.
Persistently higher risk roads show routes where there has either been little or no change in the number of fatal and serious crashes between data periods or a significant increase.
Highest risk roads with high involvement for specific road users roads with a high proportion of crashes involving specific road users can be highlighted e.g. roads with a lot of built up sections may have issues with vulnerable road users and roads in scenic locations may have issues with motorcyclists.
Busy higher risk routes showing higher risk road sections carrying large volumes of traffic.
Highest risk road sections by region gives the highest risk road in each geographical region.